It didn’t take long for SSC Napoli to crash from the dizzying heights of their third-ever Scudetto last spring. First, manager Luciano Spalletti left the club and eventually took the Italian national team manager’s job. And then the team got off to a very wonky start this season in Serie A, collecting only eight points in their first five games under new manager Rudi Garcia, trailing Inter by seven points already. The water is pretty choppy as well within the dressing room.
Probably, then, it wasn’t the best idea to pick a fight with their best player via social media, huh? Well, they did it anyway.
On Saturday, Napoli had a frustrating 0-0 draw away to Bologna. They had a prime chance to take the lead when Victor Osimhen earned a penalty. Unfortunately, he hit it while seemingly under seasickness, and sent it wide. This was the now-deleted TikTok that the official Napoli feed decided to release after the game:
You’ll never guess that this didn’t go down so well with Osimhen, and his agent was making the rounds yesterday saying that they may take legal action against the club. It’s hard to know what exactly was the goal here, other than a social media employee pulling a Costanza without having to resort to bringing back Bodysuit Man. It’s not particularly funny unless there’s a nuance to Neopaliton humor that escapes me. Is there any team in the world that uses their social channels to mock their own players? And in what world was this going to go unnoticed by the player himself?
To make matters worse, somehow, this all comes at a pretty fragile point in the relationship between Napoli, and Osimhen. They were very lucky to keep him at the club in the summer, thanks to Chelsea’s….whathaveya, and Manchester United opting for a younger, cheaper option in Rasmus Højlund, while Bayern Munich were fixated on Harry Kane. There isn’t a large pool of teams that could afford the nine-digit fee Osimhen would cost, and they all chose other paths. PSG didn’t know they were going to be losing Neymar in time, and Real Madrid are waiting on Kylian Mbappe. But that doesn’t mean Osimhen is Napoli for life, and the club had wanted to tie him to a new contract — probably with a bonkers release clause — quite soon. His current deal runs out in 2025, and if they had to sell him next summer with only one year remaining on his deal, that would bring the price down. He’s probably not sprinting to re-up with the team at the moment now, is he?
He apparently isn’t too enamored with anything at Napoli, if you want to read way too much into the video today that’s making the rounds on Twitter:
Don’t you love it when everyone becomes body language experts?
Napoli were such a feel-good story last year, a sometimes-ignored, and often-derided club in the unfashionable south of Italy (soccer-wise, not fashion-wise, I assume) coming from the clouds to play some of the most exciting and gorgeous football anywhere in Europe and running away with Serie A in front of utterly delirious fans. Perhaps it was all just too high-octane to be held together for more than a season. Though that doesn’t mean that the club itself needs to keep pressing the detonator.
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Original source here
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